Bill Polian: There’s a “crying need” for a developmental league

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In an interview Tuesday, former Giants coach Jim Fassel hinted that there could be a spring developmental league coming from the NFL next year.

That would be the first such league under NFL control since NFL Europa was put out to pasture in 2007 and it would be something that longtime executive and incoming Hall of Famer Bill Polian thinks fills a major void in the sport.

“The quality of our game has suffered because there is not a developmental league,” Polian said on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Particularly for young quarterbacks; particularly for young offensive linemen; particularly for young defensive linemen, especially 3-4 defensive linemen. There’s a crying need for it.”

Polian went on to say that the rise of spread offenses in college has made the issue even more acute because many quarterbacks aren’t prepared to serve as starters or backups at the professional level. He pointed out the number of quarterbacks produced by the league’s previous European endeavors as a way that a developmental league bolsters the regular NFL.

The football side of things seems pretty obvious, but there are financial issues involved with starting even a minor league. Polian said he thinks there are six locales that could host and support teams right now and that they could be profitable quickly with the NFL chipping in for things like insurance, uniforms and equipment.

There was no echo of Fassel’s hint about a coming league, but the bare bones about why it’s needed and how it could work that Polian make it seem like something well worth exploring.

77 responses to “Bill Polian: There’s a “crying need” for a developmental league

  1. The lack of NFL style QB’s is alarming, QB’s that can read a defense and throw.

  2. Of course there’s a need for this, and the NFL can certainly afford to fund it at start up, and keep it going, even if it isn’t “profitable” (heaven forbid).

    A developmental league shouldn’t be about profit anyway, it should be about developing young players. Now, of course they couldn’t have a minor league system akin to MLB, where every team has a lower level affiliate, but I wonder how this will work with only six teams.

    My original thought was that a team could send a young player down to the D league to develop for a year, but obviously every team can’t have a QB developing because there aren’t enough roster spots.

    Anyway, great idea. I know I’d watch it.

  3. Blabberhead Bill says:

    “The quality of our game has suffered because there is not a developmental league,”

    No, the quality of the game has suffered because of (in no particular order):

    *Constant tinkering of the rules
    *Inept officials
    *Obscene contracts
    *Greedy owners
    *Roger Goodell
    *Sack dances

    None of these has anything to do with a developmental league, which is only being considered because someone will make a ton of cash.

  4. If they are smart they will find a way to keep all of the players belonging to a given NFL team on one team in the developmental team. That way NFL fans have a reason to care about the fortunes of a team in the spring league. Having a 16 team league with players from one NFC and one AFC team would make sense even if it wasn’t as easy as just mixing the players in one big pool.

  5. There is one it’s called College Football… Also it’s 2015 Bill, the time has come for a virtual development league “dontcha mean.”

    Pump the money in & get those guys from Stanford working on it.

    [Virtual Football from the Valley Of Silicon.]

  6. The last time Polian was crying about something, it was to get the rules changed to favor his team because the Patriots played too rough.

  7. Bill Polian is right. However, everything about the game is strictly geared to making the billionaire owners richer. A Spring type league for developing players would be good for the game, but it would cost some money to set up and run. The NFL walked away from NFL Europe because it didn’t make money. Why would this be any different?

  8. Good. Get rid of semi-professional college football. When you have players coming out that can hardly articulate a coherent sentence, you know all you need to know about the “benefit” playing college football.

  9. usfl was awesome and it should still be around and it would fill the football void. THANKS TRUMP!!!

    tbh the nfl needs a competitor as much as a dleague, the game be suffering

  10. Having a Spring league would be helpful however it would also be problematic from the standpoint of having prospects being able to participate. They are college students after all and I don’t think their schools would let them miss a semester of class just to get ready to play in the NFL.

  11. As a college professor I am praying things like this become reality. So many good things would happen at universities … starting with it all being cheaper for students via less athletic fees (whether you’re an athlete or not, you usually pay them out of your pocket).

    The momentum for universities to have near professional athletics is both unfortunate and extremely OFF the mark when considering the actual reason universities were created. With select students coming forward and admitting they aren’t even writing the papers for their courses or even attending classes … it makes sense to somehow lessen the importance of sport and increase the importance of other things.

    It also makes little sense that athletes get to go to school (should they really decide to come to class) get full rides amounting up to $80k per year. Now, some may say that they “BRING IN THE MONEY” … think about exactly where that money is going. It never goes very far, other than back into athletics again. The rest of college is insanely expensive and it’s only going to get worse.

    We can still have live sport, televised sports … school spirit and all, with good, honest athletes who are real students and who aren’t punching women in the face in bars, stealing crab legs or lap tops, talking on a money phone … etc.

  12. I used to live in Richmond, VA and I loved going to the Braves farm team there. I saw some good players funnel through there. The Redskins already have training camp in Richmond. A farm team for the Redskins in Richmond would be very successful. The problem is the NFL want’s the farm system to be a pool of players without links to the big teams. That to me is a recipe for failure. Why can’t they just set it up like baseball and be done with it?

  13. Listen, I love college football dearly, but the time is now (or, yesterday) for a developmental league to be created. If not for the fact that a good number of these “student-athletes” should be nowhere near a college campus, and that’s fine. They’re better at football than books, no biggie. Let them work on their craft in an environemnt that suits their real intentions: going pro, and bypassing the NCAA. Enough of some of the quasi-student athlete NCAA nonsense. There are plenty of guys who want to be actual student-athletes. Let them continue to play on scholarship.

    Of course, being the huge cashcow it is for the universities and conference television networks, I’m sure this will never ever happen.

  14. There are 32 teams in the league, and approximately 25 starting calibre QBs. The annual draft doesn’t bring in QBs at a fast enough rate for NFL expansion (and $$$).

    A developmental league means more pro ready QBs, which means there’s more of a call for expansion teams – which is what the NFL wants. There’ll be more QBs to go around.

  15. I have always thought the NFL should consider an in-season 32 team minor league.

    Training camp starts out with 90 players but on game day you can only keep 53 and dress 46. That’s a 44 extra players you could use to create a minor leage team.

    Each team plays a mirror schedule of their major league team 4 days prior.

    Each team designates 12 players that can be called up any given week and then sent back if needed (without having to release them).

    You play a 10 game season plus playoffs, then those 12 designated players can be all called up and included to the active roster for the home stretch of the season, a time in the year when teams could really use a boost of players.

    This system not only allows you to develop players, it also allows you to develop them in your system running your plays.

    Instead of getting no reps at all, your 3’rd string QB would be getting as many reps as the starter in the system you’re running. You call a guy up and he’s up to speed and ready to go, there’s no learning curve.

    Plus we would have a second team to obsess over.

    I understant this would be a logistical challenge and it probably would never happen but I always thought it would be a cool way to do it.

  16. Maybe they would be true student athletes if they knew they couldn’t get to the NFL without going through a developmental league. Maybe they wouldn’t waste a lot of other people’s time and money by going straight to the d-league and not going to college in the first place. Give their scholarship to someone who has the talent to cure cancer or invent a fuel free car that missed the opportunity because they couldn’t afford to go.

  17. The cheap owners won’t pay for end zone cameras….yet Uncle Bill thinks a D-league is realistic?
    Just expand practice squads if lack of reps is the issue.

  18. Pro rosters have 2 back ups that practice pro offenses all day every day…..yet when their number gets called….they gag big time. Will a D-league prepare QBs better? Please!!!

  19. This is not rocket science to fix for crying out loud. Just increase the number of players on the roster to 85. (10 of which are already on the “Practice squad” )

    Change the CBA for a second level of players to be retained by each team in a shadow league of 22 players for each team .. like a farm system for baseball. Lower pay for “trainee’s” similar to the practice squad and each team can use them as an expanded practice squad group and only allow them to play there 2 years.

    Set up 30 minute “shadow” games as Junior league games at every NFL Game like you watch trailers for future releases when you go to the movies.

    OK, NFL I think this is worth more than a Wells’s report.. please send me my check now….

  20. Pro rosters have 2 back ups that practice pro offenses all day every day…..yet when their number gets called….they gag big time. Will a D-league prepare QBs better? Please!!!

    ———————————————-

    Actually the only time the backups get reps is in the pre-season. Once the season starts, the starter get’s 90% of the reps, the backup gets a few and runs the scout team while the 3’rd stringer gets zip.

    That’s why many teams are going with 2, what’s the point of keeping a developmental guy on the roster when you don’t have the reps to develop him.

  21. developmental reserve grade were each team has a corresponding team full of all the non active players , it doesn’t even have to be a spring league they could use them as curtain raisers for the actual games.

    this could help develop young players of all positions not just QB’s but i still think it will help youngs QB’s the most. having to throw under real pressure, having to run the offense under game fatigue not just practicing vs air or people who cant actually touch them.

  22. You wouldn’t have players going from college to a developmental league – they would be sacrificing some of their best/most productive years. As a result, you would most likely have a junior league which competes with college football for players…and the resultant problems that come with that.

    An expanded NFL roster cuts into your Salary Cap.

  23. NFL owners would never pay for a D-league. Problem is there’s not enough home games to generate revenue. TV revenue will probably be next to nothing.

    So really youre counting on the ticket sales for 8 home games….and you’re not getting NFL prices per ticket either.

    Personally I think that the NFL should do it anyway. Take a full 5 years and build infrastructure in 32 cities not near current NFL franchises. Get more of the country into football (helping to underwrite the loss in running the league).

  24. Young men are playing other sports that do not have the high injury rate of football. It is the way of life now and will continue to be so. A development league would not solve the issue of the injuries. Soccer, lacrosse, hockey, basketball and baseball are avenues to college scholarships. If you need a league to teach skills to 21 yr. old’s then you are throwing money away. Only a few improve, the rest will never get it.

  25. Seems as if there is already a league in place that could serve as a developmental league. The NFL could form a “partnership” with the CFL, expand to 16 teams, adding teams in football hungry towns in the the states. An AFC and NFC team would each share a developmental team allowing them to develop players AND coaches.

    Seems like a very simple plan, not sure why this isn’t already in place.

  26. I’m completely in agreement. I never understood why there aren’t minor leagues, like in baseball and hockey. I mean, people love football, so who wouldn’t want to watch MORE? And it would be better than the NCAA, right? Like the top 1% of college players go to the League. So then the 98th and 97th percentile guys would naturally go to the next step down, one would assume. So that, by logic, is a better product than the NCAA.

    College ball is so corrupt now, and lets face it, the idea that these guys are “student-athletes” is a joke in most cases. I went to UMass, when it was still 1-AA, and many of my friends and roommates were players there, and I never once saw them crack a book or sweat a final. They were there to play football, and in their down time they were smoking weed (offseason), playing video games, and chasing women. So what do think goes on at full-on football factories like Alabama or LSU or wherever? There’s probably too much “tradition” (read: money to be lost) for that change to ever be allowed, but it would make a lot of sense for an 18 year old kid with no designs on getting an education to just go play in the minors and start making a little money. If you DO want an education, NCAA schools can still field a team and scholarships could be given to worthy athletes. I think the NCAA is just a dated concept at this point. I’m not saying to scrap it completely, but what if you just set up a minor league team in those (no offense) minor areas of the country that can’t support an NFL franchise? Imagine Timmy Tebow down in some Bible Belt town tearing up the D-League? People would watch that. But the Good Ol’ Boy network will only let that happen over their dead bodies, so I guess we’re just pipe dreaming.

  27. Spring football never works. All this talk is moot.

    No profit to be made.
    Talent level sucks.
    MLB and the NBA in the past drown out the sub par competition on display. It’s a failed product.

  28. I would love a developmental league.

    In a perfect world, there would be a developmental team for all 32 NFL teams, but in reality, you’ll probably have 8 teams in mid-sized southern/midwest markets (eg, Birmingham, Tulsa, etc).

    What stinks about the reality of an 8-team d-league is that each NFL team will not be able to have their own developmental QB getting 1st string snaps, which really defeats the primary benefit of a developmental league (to develop more NFL-quality starting QB’s).

    I think if you own an NFL franchise, it would be in your best interest to have your own, dedicated d-league team and not share with one or two others. Yeah, you have to pay salaries for 53 more guys, but the salaries will be a tick higher than CFL, and you’ll get more bang for buck from your own draft picks who can develop.

    Another unintended consequence of a d-league: expansion of the NFL draft to maybe 10 or 12 rounds, which I’m sure the draftniks will love.

  29. The state of football development is quite poor as it is. Technique/fundamentals/discipline is not being taught across the nation. I see tons of coaches that are all rah-rah, and no technique far too often on the youth-collegiate levels. That’s why you have so much disparity between the top and bottom of the players in the league. There are too many players that come into NFL camps, not knowing basic fundamental skill.

    The worst are the QB’s, they are so concerned with running, that there aren’t many guys who can throw, make reads and make decisions.

    There is a need for a development league, as far as it being a good product, meh probably not. The NFL may have to actually sacrifice making huge profits for something beneficial in a different way. I have no interest in seeing sub-par talent in ugly uniforms in front of a crowd of 6k people

  30. maddenisfordorks says:
    Jul 15, 2015 7:54 AM
    As a college professor I am praying things like this become reality. So many good things would happen at universities … starting with it all being cheaper for students via less athletic fees (whether you’re an athlete or not, you usually pay them out of your pocket).

    The momentum for universities to have near professional athletics is both unfortunate and extremely OFF the mark when considering the actual reason universities were created. With select students coming forward and admitting they aren’t even writing the papers for their courses or even attending classes … it makes sense to somehow lessen the importance of sport and increase the importance of other things.

    It also makes little sense that athletes get to go to school (should they really decide to come to class) get full rides amounting up to $80k per year. Now, some may say that they “BRING IN THE MONEY” … think about exactly where that money is going. It never goes very far, other than back into athletics again. The rest of college is insanely expensive and it’s only going to get worse.

    We can still have live sport, televised sports … school spirit and all, with good, honest athletes who are real students and who aren’t punching women in the face in bars, stealing crab legs or lap tops, talking on a money phone … etc.

    —————————————————————-

    I generally agree with you, but considering that college professors in MANY cases tend to be people that never worked outside of the bubble of academics often reap 6 figure salaries because they achieved PHD’s in topics that are not applicable in the real world also factor in to the high cost of tuition.

  31. College Football unfortunately is the developmental league… And its free for the NFL.. Nothing will change.. I wish but it ain’t happening.. GREED!!!!

  32. Good idea in theory until the NFL PA gets involved and wants excessive salaries and limited practice time.

  33. Seems like a better idea to me would be for the nfl to start supporting those college programs that teach the fundamentals they are looking for. After a few years of colleges losing recruits because the higher draft picks are coming from the “developmental” colleges everybody will step in line real quick.

  34. Just reiterating an earlier point, but why do people think minor league football would be low quality? You’re dealing with “almost”-NFL caliber talent, which is logically better than the average NCAA player. So the talent level argument falls flat. College football is a joke in most places. Yes, the SEC is ridiculous, I enjoy watching it too. But up here in Boston, nobody who isn’t somehow affiliated with Boston College could care less about their football program. There was that one year with Doug Flutie, when I was in like kindergarten, then there was “oh yeah, BC has that Matt Ryan kid, he’s probably a pro prospect.” Then the other year there was kid in the Heisman race, and I’d have to stop and think to try to remember his name. Obviously it’s easy to be in the shadow of the Patriots, but still, the Patriots were TERRIBLE when I was growing up, and STILL nobody really gave BC a second thought. And I think that’s fairly standard around the country, SEC and maybe a handful of ACC towns, the obvious Texas, and maybe a couple Pac-10 schools notwithstanding. The NFL is usually the #1 show in town if it’s competing with an NCAA team, maybe excluding Tennessee. I think minor league ball could sell in small cities without a pro team in range. Obviously it won’t be the cash cow the NFL is, but what is? But I just can’t imagine someone who would ordinarily watch college football in, say, Kansas, would turn their nose up at minor league football on the claim that the talent is too weak.

  35. lixer81 says:
    Jul 15, 2015 7:30 AM
    There is one it’s called College Football… Also it’s 2015 Bill, the time has come for a virtual development league “dontcha mean.”
    ================================================

    No it’s not. There is something called an eligibility time limit. These guys leave college when they’re only 22-23 years old and still not quite in their athletic prime. Many can’t make an NFL roster at the time for a variety of reasons: small college, injuries, slower developer, tried out at the wrong team (wrong coach, wrong fit), etc.

    As for more and more spread QBs, maybe it’s the NFL teams that need to change to the new trend.

  36. Six team league, they play every opponent twice (ten game schedule), two best records vie for “championship” like old NFL days.

    Six teams require about 320 players–that’s a lot, but if every team puts in 5 (basically their practice squads) and the other half comes from guys with fewer than three years in/out of the NFL on/off various practice squads–you now, the guys who are the last to get cut each year, then it’s doable. Spring season won’t compete with NFL for $.

    Biggest problems I see from a team point of view:
    Injuries (duh), OTA conflicts (if a guy is doing well in DLeague do you then yank him out early to participate in OTAs?). Does each team assign a couple young coaches as well?

    From a player POV: DLeague only as good as its teachers–if all good coaches are highly paid and tied up with NLF and NCAA gigs, who is “developing” these guys? New draftees can’t participate because they’re usually still in school. So it’s all second year and older guys?

    From a financial POV: Where do they play and what are those costs? What do you pay these guys and where does $ come from (NFL corporate?)? What do you expect for ticket sales–20,000 per game? At $25 per seat? It doesn’t have to make money, just not lose too much. Televising a third of the games will help.

    I think it’s a good idea, but there are so many hurdles.

  37. There isnt a need for a developmental league. There arent even enough good players to fill out 53 man rosters for every NFL team.

    I do agree the NFL is in trouble with QBs because of all the spread offenses in college. That doesnt get you ready for the NFL. It helps college coaches win games when 1 team has superior talent to their opponent.

  38. There already is a developmental league paid for by tuition and tax payers.

    Why would the NFL (owners) want to pay for coaches, players, trainers, front office when its already there for no cost to them?

    The NFL is the problem with college football. Let the players who want to get paid, go play in this developmental league.

  39. xfl was awesome.. Go check XFL HIGHLIGHTS on Youtube and come back to me..
    Hard Hits, The games were exciting, No fair catches..
    NBC should of gave it more time. I think it would be just as big as NFL right now or even bigger since Players would want to go there instead of dealing with NFL rules. The money would of grown so they could pay big time players.. NBC gave up and that’s a shame!
    Obviously the first year is not going to have the best players in the world since they all have NFL contracts but if NBC waited 4 years then I think XFL would of surpassed NFL..
    McMahon was done doing all the crazy stuff at the end of the first season with cheerleaders and things. He was just going to run a regular league and McMahon HAD MONEY… He could of beat NFL

  40. Thay should have a developmental league I think more than anything coaches will benefit more from it… especially on ways how to create an efficient and effective offense for a non-traditional QB, great way to cultivate new ideas and thoughts… Indeed…

  41. I remember fondly as a teenager, tuning in every Saturday night in the fall to listen to the Hartford radio station broadcasting the Hartford knights of the Atlantic Coast football league! I remembered names like Tom Sherman, John Land, Claude Watt, Jim King Corcoran and is the like! And for that there was the Continental Football league with names like Marv Hubbard, cookie Gilchrist, Wilkinson and Don Jonas!

    Yesterday there was an article about Jim fassel, and the North American football league and of course there is the FX F L. Why couldn’t the NFL become partners with the two fledgling leagues? Merge the two leagues into one league get to the point where you have 16 teams that way two NFL teams could contribute as many as 10 or 12 players to each team! The NFL network could broadcast the games and say Tuesday and Wednesday nights giving them programming other than just old NFL films material! You can even call it the North American football league and put teams in Mexico and Canada! I think that would be a workable solution and that way players the never really got shot would have a chance to develop their skills and perhaps catch the interest of an NFL club or CFL club!

  42. With how greed runs the NFL what the owners will want is an opportunity to charge a ton for the right to own a developmental team. That or the teams will own them outright and by some accounting magic all the NFL team’s profits will be eaten up by this improbably costly-to-run d-league team.

    They had a developmental league in Europe that played double-duty by exposing Europeans who supposedly just love American football to the game. But they killed it because it wasn’t making money. And because that unfortunate reality flew in the face of their constant claims that a real NFL team would do just great over there.

  43. In my opinion what is needed is a 1 to 1 minor league (32 teams).

    College football is insane. Most know that the ‘top’ programs worry little about education. Pick 32 schools (let them apply) to be the developmental representatives. These schools will likely be Division 3 or Division 1A. The NFL junior teams can take the school name/color, use the facilities and still provide school pride and the activity of going/following that schools team. The NFL gets the development league it wants while utilizing existing infrastructure thus keeping cost low.

    The Alabama, Notre Dame, Penn States still get to keep their programs. The Stevenson University, Backwater U or any low level college that has a stadium with funding issues can fill their stadium and eliminate the cost of running the team. There are so many towns with small colleges that have zero chance of an NFL team moving anywhere close that could suddenly be part of the NFL, although one level down.

    There are many smaller colleges with local support and no TV exposure. The NFL would get the immediate benefit of infrastructure, identity and a small following from which to build upon.

    I was 12 when the Colts left Baltimore. I have gone to Baltimore Colts games, Baltimore Stars games, Baltimore CFL/Stallions games and Baltimore Ravens games. From watching the Stars and Stallions I will tell you that as fun as they were I would have rather been watching an NFL product, even their AAA type product.

  44. I said this on an ESPN message board about 10 years ago and the trolls replied, “That’s what NCAA is for.” People, have some foresight. The college coaches are not preparing NFL-ready players at key positions. Here was and still is my proposal for the NFL and it could be pretty lucrative.

    -16 Team Developmental League
    -Each team has combined allocated players from 2 teams
    -The 2 allocating teams consist of 1 AFC & 1 NFC
    -The location of the developmental team is smaller market, geographically located within proximity to allocating teams
    (For Example: San Diego & Arizona = Las Vegas OR Dallas & Houston = San Antonio OR Seattle & Denver = Boise)
    -The league runs congruent with the NFL season and games are played on Friday nights only.

    I really think that is the way to go and people would watch in America because they love football. It would expand rosters without sacrificing reps. And you can call guys in any week and even have an add on for 4-5 players for playoff rosters.

  45. Good solution:
    -Create the NFL Developmental League (NFLD)
    -Reduce the Draft age to 18 years old
    -Keep the NFL age minimum at 21 years old

    -Allow kids who don’t want anything to do with college or classes to get drafted to an NFL team out of high school and play in the developmental league for 3 years until they reach 21 (and more importantly get PAID [minor-league pay] rather than be a money-under-the-table “amateur” in college living off free crab legs). They also get to play under NFL coaches against former NFL/CFL vets and developing draft picks, so they’re not at a huge disadvantage against those who opt for college.

    -High schoolers who want to play their three/four years at a major college program for scholarship and maintain their amateurism, can STILL do that. The whole, fake “student-athlete” who doesn’t attend class or accepts money from boosters will be weeded out of the NCAA, which is a great thing.

    I think forcing these kids to go to college and forgoing the ability to EARN from age 18 to 21, is an absolute joke, and frankly un-American.

    These kids should be given choices, whether to enter a D-League after high school and earn a wage while they develop, OR go to college, get a free college education and maybe have higher exposure as an amateur.

    This is how it works in Professional Baseball and Professional Hockey and both flourish as a result.

  46. The NFL will never allow it to happen. The NFL is scared to death of competition of any kind – even if it’s family. The NFL is dying a slow death (this coming from a big NFL fan). Fans are waiting for football that brings hard-hitting, fun and affordability. All things the NFL no longer offers.

  47. The NCAA isn’t really a developmental league for the NFL in most cases – QBs especially. Guys get reps and learn and make the physical & mental transition from high school, but the speed of the game, the quality of competition and what they’re being taught are not geared toward NFL football.

    The CFL is its own thing, and as much as we in the US may like to dismiss it, it’s silly to assume that the NFL could just walk in there and buy up the entire league. It’s a different enough game that the two leagues aren’t interchangeable.

  48. I think it could work. Any of the cities that are vacated for the Los Angeles franchise(s) should be first in line.

  49. The state of football development is quite poor as it is. Technique/fundamentals/discipline is not being taught across the nation. I see tons of coaches that are all rah-rah, and no technique far too often on the youth-collegiate levels. That’s why you have so much disparity between the top and bottom of the players in the league. There are too many players that come into NFL camps, not knowing basic fundamental skill.

    The worst are the QB’s, they are so concerned with running, that there aren’t many guys who can throw, make reads and make decisions.

    There is a need for a development league, as far as it being a good product, meh probably not. The NFL may have to actually sacrifice making huge profits for something beneficial in a different way. I have no interest in seeing sub-par talent in ugly uniforms in front of a crowd of 6k people

    this
    the state of coaching at the high ssxchool level is woeful. My son is a very talented his qb with a 4.0 GPA and an ap scholar at a very competitive his. He makes multiple reads and can dead any defense. He doesn’t get a sniff from d1 colleges. I cannot tell you how many camps we been to where there are multiple kids just like my son who have done everything right but don’t even get a glimpse from scouts. Because these kids are closer to 6ft or 6 1 they are ignored. However big 6 3 kid whose only talent is to throw the ball hard but whose footwork mechanics and academics are all suspect are drooled over because they can be “taught”. It is utterly broken. There are ~10000 high schools in this couentry and the vast majority have qbs in the 6 ft range. Is it any wonder the NFL can’t find qbs when the vast majority of those qbs don’t even get close to a 2nd look before they are even in college. Just think of this. Would Aaron Rodgers be where he is today if Jeff Tedford hadn’t come sniffing around Butte that day looking for a tight end. All that talent unrecognized by all those coaches and discovered by accident. I highly highly doubt it. I can guarantee you there are a lot of d3 qbs out there much smarter and just as gifted as these highly touted draft picks but don’t even get a look at the next level. Don’t tell me the NFL finds the talent itdoesnt especially not at qb because it doesn’t look in the right places. All one needs to look at is the draft over the last 15 years. Its a joke.

  50. Mr. Craig says:

    This is not rocket science to fix for crying out loud. Just increase the number of players on the roster to 85. (10 of which are already on the “Practice squad” )

    Change the CBA for a second level of players to be retained by each team in a shadow league of 22 players for each team .. like a farm system for baseball. Lower pay for “trainee’s” similar to the practice squad and each team can use them as an expanded practice squad group and only allow them to play there 2 years.
    ==================================

    too much sense………

  51. Look at the NBA and the D-League success there. People said it was a joke – Now I believe 18 teams have their own dedicated D-League team. Development works.

    Start at 8 teams, work from there. Keep it regional…anywhere from Omaha/Lincoln to Richmond. West and East division (Birmingham, Orlando, Richmond, etc….Oklahoma City). Places that have access to decent places to play, large populations, easy travel.

    NCAA doesn’t ultimately care about player development – it’s about making money, and coaches keeping their jobs.

  52. I think something like this would be good for the players. Football is the most dangerous of the four major pro sports, hands down, with a relatively high likelihood of career ending/threatening/altering injury. Look at a guy like Marcus Lattimore. He didn’t need to be in the NCAA. After one year you knew he was the goods. He was just playing out his required time. If a kid is ready at 19 or 20, let him play. Don’t force these kids to get an education, or in many cases just pretend to, and have what happened to him happen without seeing a dime, other than what I imagine was a modest signing bonus from a team taking a leap of faith that he’d return to top form. So if he’s NFL-ready, go for it. And if not, and there’s a minor league, he can at least make a few dollars before he has to call it quits. Some of these kids come from crazy backgrounds and might have kids already, they need money and fast. Obviously you’d encourage a guy to go the college route, but leave the decision to the player and his family.

    MLB and the NHL draft kids straight out of high school sometimes, and then those guys have the option to go to college or go to the minor league affiliate of the team that drafted them if they’re not ready for prime time yet. So it would take a big commitment to get this D-league going, you’d need 32 teams to each have an NFL affiliate. You could play games on Saturday now that the NCAA is probably weaker, and NFL could call guys up or send guys down just like baseball and hockey. The only thing standing in the way is the NCAA battling for its own survival, and the complexities of setting up a startup league on such a grand scale, like figuring out whether the parent team owns the minor league team or an independent owner, stadium deals/construction, yadda yadda…

    Unfortunately, I think it would take this all-in approach to work and survive, so we’d looking at a 5 year process at least. Sounds great on paper, but the actual execution would be very tricky.

  53. It would be great if a minor league was set up the way the English premier league works: If your EPL (or NFL) team sucks, it drops down to the minor league next season. If a minor league team is dominant, it jumps up to the major league team.

    But I doubt Americans would ever subscribe to such a concept.

  54. Why are some of you blaming the college coaches? Their job is to win, not prepare them specifically for the NFL. It’s the NFL that’s too slow and conservative to react to new trends and new ideas. You know why more colleges are going to spread offenses? Because it works and there aren’t enough defensive backs to stop the wide receivers and no-huddle offenses. Even Saban tried to ban no huddles because his guys couldn’t handle the pace. So far, Chip Kelly is the only one to try this in the NFL, and it’s working. Now, he just needs a defense.

  55. About a year ago, Mark Cuban said the following:

    ““I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion. When pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns against you.”

    I think he was really on to something and the NFL needs to be cognizant.

  56. I don’t think there is much basis in reality for this.

    1.) The reason good players are good players is because they are naturally talented and pick up on things quickly. Most good players assert themselves as good players by their second or third seasons. This isn’t Major League Baseball.

    2.) Year after year more 1st round picks have successful careers than 2nd round picks, more 2nd round picks have successful careers than 3rd round picks, and so on. Teams know how to identify prospects as well as possible.

    3.) If a team has a need at a position, they would much rather take their chances with a raw bu talented rookie than some average talent 27-year-old who has refined his talent for a few years in the D-league. There’s not much upside to those players.

  57. Laugh all you want, the XFL was hard-hitting football and perfect as a developmental league.

    Tommy Maddox came from the XFL….

  58. Money issue? Talk about green, multi billion dollar industry and you dont have enough to run a minor league football league? States have been running minor league football leagues for years with hardly any money and resources just fine.

  59. The NCAA has also contributed to it.

    Wide hashmarks and crappy defenses have made QBs less successful.

    The NFL is better off having NCAA players in their own system. Unlike the NCAA, the players can get paid by the NFL minor league.

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